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Can China stabilise AfPak?

To be successful, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) needs a stable Afghanistan and normalisation of India-Pakistan links to achieve its potential.  The eruption of a war of words between Afghanistan and Pakistan is seen as a setback to the peace process between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban. Though it was Afghanistan which took the […]

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Pakistan’s tenuous relationship with violent non-state actors in Afghanistan

Understanding this dynamic is critical to a path to peace in Afghanistan. Following the news confirming Mullah Omar’s death, analysts have evaluated that internal rifts in the Taliban would derail the on-going peace negotiations. However, little has been said about Pakistan’s relationship with the Taliban factions or with militias outside the Taliban fold in Afghanistan. […]

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The losing war against ungoverned spaces

We are now living in an era where ungoverned spaces, long the accomplice in jihadist activity, are playing a starring role. One of the biggest counterterrorism concerns for the United States and its allies since the attacks of September 11, 2001, has been managing the dangers posed by ungoverned spaces. While al-Qaeda stars as the […]

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Diplomatic Warfare?

Warrior Diplomat takes the reader from corridors of power in the White House and the Pentagon to mud brick qalats and bullet-scarred abandoned schoolhouses in Afghanistan and back again.   There is an old and now mostly forgotten American tradition in time of war of politicians and government officials abandoning their civilian posts to serve in the military and […]

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Foreign policy in transition

A review of Arijit Mazumdar’s Indian Foreign Policy in Transition: Relations with South Asia Indian foreign policy was given renewed vigour by newly appointed Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s invitation to South Asia’s heads of government to his inauguration in May 2014. Modi attempted to breathe fresh life into not just South Asian bilateral relations but […]

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Impact Balochistan

The movement of IDPs and potential militants into Balochistan will prove to be disastrous for the province with serious implications for regional security. On June 15th, 2014, the Pakistani Armed forces launched a “comprehensive operation against foreign and local terrorists hiding in sanctuaries in North Waziristan.” Countries and provinces bordering the region were asked to […]

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China’s post-2014 Afghanistan strategy

China’s approach to violent non-state actors is unlikely to make India or the United States happy. As the United States draws down its combat troops from Afghanistan, other countries have stepped to the fore to assert their interests. Other than Pakistan, whose meddling in its neighbor’s internal affairs predates even the Afghan-Soviet war, China will […]

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Pakistan: the deer in the jihadist headlights

As unhinged as Mr Nawaz Sharif’s antiterrorism policy is, his bigger problem seems to be a military still working through its good/bad Taliban paradigm.  The more things change in Pakistan the more they remain the same when it comes to handling the jihadist terrorism. A country grappling with terrorism ideologically anchored in the virulent exclusivist […]

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A dangerous narrative

For Baloch nationalists, the battle of narratives is as important as the struggle on the ground because classification of the Baloch struggle with the regressive TTP will do them more harm than any army can inflict. “I stood firmly with those who opposed Musharraf’s Balochistan operation and earlier the sending of the military into Waziristan,” […]

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A deadly line

William Dalrymple’s triangulation error. Earlier this week, Brookings published a slickly produced essay on Afghanistan by British author William Dalrymple on its website. The sophisticated aesthetic of the online publication makes you sit up in your chair. Mr Dalrymple’s arguments do more than that—they make you fall off it. The gist of Mr Dalrymple’s endeavour […]

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